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Cinderella Man 2005

The story of James Braddock, a supposedly washed-up boxer who came back to become a champion and an inspiration in the 1930s...

Release Date:
June 3, 2005
Duration:
144 min
Cast:
Mark Simmons, Gene Pyrz, Beau Starr, Ray Marsh, Everton McEwan, Nick Alachiotis, Peter Wylie, Dave Dunbar, John Kalbhenn, Rance Howard, Daniel Kash, Bruce McGill, David Huband, Gino Marrocco, Peter MacNeill, Nicholas Campbell, Ron Canada, Clint Howard, Fulvio Cecere, Michael Stevens, Paul Giamatti, Craig Bierko, James Kirchner, Sharron Matthews, Rufus Crawford, Mark Taylor, Tim Burd, Renée Zellweger, R.D. Reid, Sergio Di Zio, Chuck Shamata, Nick Smith, Nancy E.L. Ward, Russell Crowe, James Ritz, Robert Morse, Rosemarie DeWitt, Conrad Bergschneider, Eric Fink, Egidio Tari, Liam McGuckian, Gerry Quigley, Connor Price, Paddy Considine, Aaron Abrams, Ramona Pringle, Magdalena Alexander, Dominic Cuzzocrea, Gavin Grazer, Richard Lewis, Rick Cordeiro, Roman Podhora, Conor Gomez, Philip Craig, Linda Kash, Matthew G. Taylor, Boyd Banks, Richard Sutton, Tony Munch, Angelo Tsarouchas, Duff MacDonald, John Healy, Tim Eddis, Sam Malkin, Darrin Brown, Brian Jagersky, Christopher D. Amos, Judah Katz, Kennedy McGuckian, Krysta Carter, Wayne Flemming, Troy Amos-Ross, Art Binkowski, Paul Ryan, Craig Warnock, Chick Roberts, Ariel Waller, Alicia Johnston, Richard Binsley, Neil Foster, Stuart Clark, Michael C. Newsome, Robert Smith, Ken James, Patrick Louis, David Litzinger, Gerry Ellison, Bill Mackie, Fernand Chretien, Angelo Dundee, Lou Eisen, Nick Carusi, Keith Murphy, David Georgieff, Wayne Bourque, Sean Gilroy, Michael McNamara, Billy Wine, Michael Chin, Stewart Lunn, Thomasz Kurzydlowski, Julian Lewis, Andrew Stelmack, Christopher Crumb, Peter Didiano, Nola Augustson, Alec Stockwell, Isabella Fink, Michael Dyson, Katrina Matthews Swain, Cooper Bracken, Jacob Bracken, Ray Kerr, Dave Arkell, Debra Sherman, Joanne Ritcey, Alex Cairns, George Duff, Riva Di Paola, James Donohue, Carlos Henriques, Andrew Priestman, Riley Raymer, Jake Richards, Jason Ruta, Michael Langlois, Robert Smith, Alon Nashman, Wayne Anthony Gordon ...
Genres:
Drama, Romance, Biography, Sport ...
Country:
USA

Your rating: 0

Solar rating: 8.7

8

Imdb rating: 8

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An outstanding film! A must see!!!
I can't believe that I haven't seen this till now simply brilliant 10/10


This movie was better than I expected. I'm not a huge fan of Russell Crowe and I absolutely can not stand Renee Zellweger so I really didn't want to see this film. But I did and I liked it. Crowe was good; I still wasn't impressed with Zellweger at all. Other than her and one other point, which I will address later, I thought this film was very good. It was inspirational in an un-cliche sort of way. It moved along very well, especially considering its 2 1/2 hour length. And the acting was good bar Renee. Now, to the film's other fault. I have been reading that Max Baer was not the jerk that the film made him out to be. I find this to be disapointing. Most people in my generation will probably never hear of Max Baer outside of this movie and if he was a good guy people will never know. He'll be looked at as a villianous boxer because of this movie. I don't think that's fair to the real Baer and I really wish Ron Howard would have protrayed him correctly. I don't think it would have lessened the film's emotional connection with Braddock if Baer was the silent, strong type instead of the cocky, loud-mouthed type. Anyway, that's my beef with the movie. Other than that, it was definitely worth a watch or two.
Of these 4, I enjoyed watching Lord of War most. There is a message in this movie. Prodigal Son has some great Kung Fu but there's too many ugly people in it pathetically attempting to be funny. Aviator is a good promo to make a Katherine Hepburn biopic starring Cate Blanchett. Who knows maybe they'll figure that out. Aviator has other good stuff, like a beautiful Beckinsale but I just didn't care to watch Howard Hughes (DiCaprio) get weird. It wasn't DiCaprio's fault, but it wasn't entertainment. Cinderella Man mischaracterizes like crazy to create drama. Otherwise it was sort of a Seabiscuit kind of story.
the film was oversweeten and many scenes were so pompous that I couldn't stand them, however cinmatography and montage of fights were great, this unfortunately is not enough to regard cm as a good film
Rented

Ok, first off, I have to admit I didn't watch the whole thing. It's 2 1/2 hours long for pete's sake! I watched about 2/3rds I'd say. Yes, this means I missed the whole final fight stuff and the lesson that the whole movie is supposed to teach you. Oh well.

The movie is the story of James J. Braddock, boxer who finds himself expelled from the boxing league (for sucking...) and unable to provide for his family. This all happens during the Great Depression so that doesn't really help much. He gets some luck when his trainer (a great Paul Giamatti) gets him a one-time deal fight. He ends up winning and he gets accepted back. He fights his way to the final round. And that's about where I stopped watching.

I admit, this is not my kind of movie. I only watched the amount I did because it was my goal to watch every movie nominated for an Oscar in 2005. Under normal circumstances I would never watch this movie. I find sports/fighting movies extremely boring.

Therefore, feel free to completely ignore this entire review. :)
Russell Crowe plays James Braddock a fighter during the depression era that had everything until the stockmarket crashed and he found himself fighting just to feed his family. After failing to live up to his potential, he suffers some embarassing fights, and is therefore thrown out of boxing and is forced into other low paying jobs in order to make ends meet.

Soon his family losses everything and the children get sick. Lucky for him he gets a second chance when a fighter pulls out of a fight and they're looking for a quick replacement and Braddock is the guy. Shocking everyone of that time, he makes a big comeback on route to the heavyweight championship.


Excellent movie. Possibly the best in quite a few years. The cast is great, the movie greatly shot, the fighting scenes look real, and there is a pretty good detail here. The movie is more about the struggles of a family and the people of the time looking for some hope for a brighter day. And James Braddock brought that.

Not one thing I'd change about the film. Yes, it plays with you're emotions alittle bit, but that's part of drama movies isn't it? Yes, the movie has some fiction in there. But this is what makes the difference between documentaries and movies. If you're expecting complete facts, it's nearly pointless to watch this film.

It's also moronic to knock the film for some fiction, because basically all movies have some fiction in them. Take the film for what it is and not a documentary and you'll probably like it.

10/10
"Cinderella Man" may be the best movie of the year 2005!! :fresh: :up:
Ron Howard , you are one of the best director in my heart.

"Da Vinci Code " directed by Ron Howard !! Fantastic

The Rating For "Ciderella Man" = A




Let's talk a little about screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. This is the man responsible for travesties like Lost in Space, Practical Magic, and the franchise killing, pun-crazy Batman and Robin. There's plenty of junk writers in Hollywood and plenty of good writers just saddled by junk to make a living, but how in the world did Goldsman become a Hollywood go-to guy, short of offerings to Satan?

It probably has something to do with Ron Howard. Goldsman adapted the screenplay for Howard's film A Beautiful Mind, and both walked away with Oscars. Suddenly the man who wrote Mr. Freeze saying, "You're not sending MEEE to the COOLER," had an Oscar on his mantle for writing. Goldsman and Howard, in retrospect, seem like a match made in heaven. They both love big Hollywood event movies that spoon-feed an audience and shave off the gray areas of their stories. Cinderella Man serves as the duo's second collaboration and it's exactly what you would expect a big Hollywood event movie to be from them. And that's the problem.

Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) is an up-and-coming New Jersey boxer who's on a warpath to the heavyweight title. His wife Mae (Renee Zellweger) loves him dearly and he dotes on his three kids. Life seems so perfect in 1929 America. And then the Depression hits. Braddock breaks his hand in a fight and his skills slip tremendously. The boxing commission revokes his license and Braddock is forced to take a dock job to provide for his family. Times are tough and there doesn't appear to be a way out, until Braddock's old boxing manager (Paul Giamatti) offers him a one time only bout in the ring. Braddock is seen as a has-been but he knocks his opponent flat out. More fights come and so do more victories, and Jim Braddock seems destined for a remarkable storybook comeback.

But then there's the reigning champ Max Baer (Craig Bierko), an arrogant playboy. Baer also is a ferocious fighter and has actually killed two men in the ring. The championship leads through him and Braddock is unafraid. Mae is terrified she'll become a widow and pleads with her husband not to fight. But now that he's been through the gutter, Braddock knows what he's fighting for: the survival of his family. To do that, he's headed for a title match with Baer.

What elevates Cinderella Man from an "okay" film into a "mostly good" film is the singular brilliance of Russell Crowe. This man is simply one of the most amazing actors we've ever seen, and he's been on an incredible hot streak since 1999's The Insider (forget 2000's Proof of Life, please). Yet again mastering another accent, Crowe excels at playing a noble man with guarded emotions and honest intentions. He's an actor that can display such an intense wealth of emotions in the same moment. When he visits his old boxing bosses, hat in hand, begging for enough money to turn the electricity back on, Crowe has laid a sucker punch to your emotions. It's getting to the point where I will go out and see any movie Russell Crowe stars in just to soak up his brilliant performance. He can throw a phone at my head anytime. Crowe's stellar and resonant acting will surely be noticed come Oscar time; however, I doubt much else of Cinderella Man will be remembered.

Crowe's sparring partner doesn't fare as well. I've liked Zellweger in a lot of her roles (even the sappy One True Thing), but she's entirely miscast as Braddock's underwritten stand-by-your-man wife. She scrunches her face too much and squints for most of the movie. By the end, you'll want to duct tape her eyes open. Her winsome kewpie doll accent doesn't exactly help.

Two great actors make the most of their meager roles. Giamatti serves as Braddock's growling pit dog of a corner man and works up a good froth. Bierko almost transcends the film's one-note villain caste and becomes a figure of showboating sensuality. He struts in the ring with a gallant pride that's fun to watch, even though you know Howard's whispering in your ear, "Booooo. Don't like him. He's the mean man. Booooo."

The production design on Cinderella Man is great and really recreates the look and feel of the 1930s in all walks of life. The cinematography, on the other hand, seems washed out and overly dark in spots, though it may have just been my theater's projection. I miss Roger Deakins, DP on A Beautiful Mind. Deakins knew how to beautifully light a scene and capture the audience with a precise, eye-pleasing angle. In contrast, Cinderella Man seems to think that sepia tones defined the time period of the 1930s.

Howard still has little to no trust in his audience. He can't rely on the performances of his actors to express their motivation. We know why Braddock is fighting during the Depression, Howard. We don't need split-second cuts of his family for reminders. It's almost like Howard wants to point to the screen and tell the audience what to feel. It should be obvious by now but ambiguity doesn't work for Howard. That's why Braddock is seen as almost saintly (never mind the connections to organized crime). That's why Baer is seen as dastardly (never mind that in 1933 Baer heroically wore a Jewish star and knocked out Hitler's favorite prize fighter, Max Schmeling). It seems that the details just get in the way when Howard wants to turn true-life stories into calculating, syrupy crowd pleasers.

At the docks, just in case we don't get how tragic the Great Depression is (you know, in case you forgot what either the words "great" or "depression" meant), Howard has to bend over backwards to show someone stepping over a newspaper declaring how high unemployment is. When Braddock finds a friend in Hoovertown (Central Park turned into a neighborhood of shanties) we see him run over by a horse and buggy as another man crushed by the system or a runaway metaphor. When Baer fights in the ring Howard makes sure to get that sneering close-up of our villain. And surely anyone who's a womanizing playboy must go down for the good of the nation. Howard is aggressive in his pandering.

Thanks to Goldsman and Hollingsworth's mawkish and manipulative script, Cinderella Man has the myth of complexity to it when it's really content to go the easy route. It plays this story too close to the rules: embittered hero with humanity intact, stalwart wife, cocky villain, the grumbling manager. Cinderella Man is stripped of complexity and Goldsman and Hollingsworth want to lead the audience by the nose. When Braddock promises his son in a heart-to-heart that he'll never split up the family, we know it's only a matter of time before it happens. Their script is also full of workmanlike dialogue that does enough to just push the story forward but give little shading to its people (Zellweger's, "You are the champion of my heart, Jim Braddock" is particularly awful).

Cinderella Man really is a film more about the Depression than boxing, except for its pummeling and gritty final act of non-stop boxing. The script paints an almost insulting idea that the Depression was good for people to learn important life lessons, like family comes first, hard work will be rewarded, and one man can heal a nation. Seabiscuit fell into this same trap with its depiction of the Depression, but at least Gary Ross' film dealt with characters that weren't tired genre archetypes.

Cinderella Man could be described as "Seabiscuit in a boxing ring," as yet again the triumph of an underdog pulls the country back together and gives the common man something to believe in. What I'd like to see is Braddock vs. Seabiscuit in a ring or even on the horse's turf. Then we can finally decide once and for all who is responsible for getting America out of the Depression (somewhere FDR is spinning in his wheelchair-accessible grave).

The film does come alive when Braddock steps into the ring. The boxing matches are finely choreographed and pack a real wallop. You can practically feel the bruises and taste the sweat during the 15-round bout between Braddock and Baer. These scenes give you a good understanding of the progression of a boxing match and the real strategy that can turn a loser into a winner. Howard also has a smart visual cue during these lively moments. Whenever a bone gets broken, like Braddock's hand, we cut to an X-ray shot of that scene and see the bone snap. It might seem old in a CSI-drenched landscape of entertainment but it's effective and neat.

Cinderella Man is a rousing, heartstring-tugging crowd pleaser that will inspire hope and redemption. Until you look at it more objectively. It's easy to get sucked into Howard's underdog tale and that's because it's been tailored to satisfy your emotions. Crowe rises above this heavy-handed yesteryear yarn with a riveting performance. I'm positive most people will walk away from Cinderella Man feeling uplifted and touched and would view me as being overly cynical. But with a maudlin story by Goldsman that simplifies the details, and Howard's ham-fisted direction, Cinderella Man feels like a feel-good-movie that's been rigged. These people have no trust in their audience, so why should you put your trust in them?

Nate's Grade: C+
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